Wednesday: Hili dialogue

Today’s Hili photo will also appear in the Daily Dobrzyn News:

Jerry: I’m constantly afraid that Cyrus will eat you.
Hili: What an excellent joke!

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In Polish:

Jerry: Ciągle obawiam się, że Cyrus cię zje.
Hili: Świetny żart.
(Foto: Jerry Coyne)

Actually, I am afraid that Cyrus will nom or hurt Hili. He follows her around obsessively, so that she won’t even rest on my chest (something I much regret), as the dog is nosing at her constantly. He will not leave her alone, which is a severe stricture on a cat’s independence. Sometimes he chases her, and makes the fur on her back bristle. Cyrus appears to have been trained as a hunting dog and, as one reader noted yesterday, they had a cat and a dog which appeared to have an amiable relationship for a long time, until one day the dog snapped. . . and, well, I won’t describe the results here.

 

11 Comments

  1. Posted July 29, 2014 at 11:35 pm | Permalink

    I have had cats AND dogs cohabitating with me for almost my entire life and never had any issues at all.

  2. Marella
    Posted July 30, 2014 at 12:31 am | Permalink

    Cyrus’ obsession is a bit worrying I agree. I hope he gets over it soon.

  3. LB
    Posted July 30, 2014 at 12:41 am | Permalink

    All it will take is one encounter with Hili’s claws for Cyrus to learn some respect for kitty.

    Please show Hili this video. Perhaps seeing the potential fear she can inspire in Cyrus will motivate her:

  4. Evan Plommer
    Posted July 30, 2014 at 4:13 am | Permalink

    While it’s true that a tough cat can injure a d*g in a BIG way: this is not worth the gamble. Jerry’s friends would be wise to start to work with Cyrus on this. He can learn to modify his behaviour.

    • Linda Grilli Calhoun
      Posted July 30, 2014 at 4:24 am | Permalink

      Agreed.

      I find this utterly terrifying.

      A squirt bottle of water would go a long way toward discouraging this. L

  5. BillyJoe
    Posted July 30, 2014 at 5:33 am | Permalink

    We have two cats and two dogs (more precisely, I have two cats and the rest of the family have two dogs). Neither dog is, in any way, afraid of either of the cats.

    The cats scatter whenever there is the slightest hint of a dog in their vicinity, jumping up to the top of a chair or cupboard if available.

    However, if cornered, both cats are totally able to take care of themselves. Both dogs always, and without fail, end up backing away from the cats’ claws, teeth, growls and hisses.

    I have no fear that my cats will ever come to any harm at the hands (or paws or teeth!) of the family’s dogs.

  6. Malgorzata
    Posted July 30, 2014 at 5:35 am | Permalink

    Jerry is painting a rather terrifying picture which we do not see. Cyrus is obviously deeply in love with Hili and he is adoring her. When they are in the garden Hili very often comes to him to rub against his legs. Our dog Darwin adored both our cats: first Pia who was not too friendly towards him, and then Hili. He behaved in the same way as Cyrus: staring adoringly for long periods, wagging his tail and burying his nose in their fur whenever he could. Nothing in Cyrus behavior gives me an impression that his intentions are in any way suspicious.

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted July 30, 2014 at 7:10 am | Permalink

      I agree. I think Cyrus wants Hili’s attention to play with her. My dog does the same thing to dogs and humans she wants to play with. If Cyrus was dangerous to Hili, he wouldn’t be displaying this way, he’d simply become aggressive toward her.

    • Posted August 1, 2014 at 8:50 pm | Permalink

      Glad to hear it, Malgorzata. It seems to me that Cyrus’s frequent fixation on Hili has something to do with the nature of dogs…. they’re always ‘waiting to wait’. It’s the same way dogs intently watch their masters for the slightest sign of something fun or ‘walkies’, such as the merest move to get the leash or the jingle of the leash, etc.

  7. Diane G.
    Posted July 30, 2014 at 10:55 am | Permalink

    I think it would be handy to teach Cyrus a “leave-it”-style command (“stand down” or “back” or whatever one prefers) when he’s doing things like preventing Hili from lying on Jerry’s chest. (We use “go away,” which both dogs readily understand; some find that un-PC, though. [The dogs are always praised for minding “go away”–which sometimes just involves lying down at our feet. It means–to them & us–just stop being so forward.]) It reminds them to stop nosing guests or begging at the table, for instance.

    But Cyrus has come a long way thus far, and I’m sure his adjustment to his new loving home after his long imprisonment will continue to blossom.

    • Diana MacPherson
      Posted July 30, 2014 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

      My dog knows “go lie down”. She knows “leave it” when she is going to touch something. I either use “leave it” to break her out of staring at another dog which often ends in too much excitement and if she is too far gone, I give her a job to do which may be to lie down or to sit and stay.


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